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    What Mechanical Engineers Do

    Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

    Work Environment

    Mechanical engineers generally work in professional office settings. They may occasionally visit worksites where a problem or piece of equipment needs their personal attention. Mechanical engineers work mostly in engineering services, research and development, manufacturing industries, and the federal government.

    How to Become a Mechanical Engineer

    Mechanical engineers need a bachelor’s degree. A graduate degree is typically needed for promotion into managerial positions. Mechanical engineers who sell services publicly must be licensed in all states and the District of Columbia.


    The median annual wage for mechanical engineers was $80,580 in May 2012.

    Job Outlook

    Employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Job prospects may be best for those who stay abreast of the most recent advances in technology.

    Similar Occupations

    Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of mechanical engineers with similar occupations.

    More Information, Including Links to O*NET

    Learn more about mechanical engineers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.